Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/29/2014 -- BMI's United States defence and security report examines the posture of the US armed forces, political decision-making on defence issues, the country's military industries, and the US defence community in general.
Although United States defence spending will remain under severe pressure from US Congress, we do not expect spending to contract significantly over our forecast period to 2018. More than 13 years of uninterrupted conflict in Afghanistan, along with prolonged military operations in Iraq and shorter expeditionary campaigns in Libya, as well as other worldwide US military obligations, have resulted in high levels of defence spending overseen by the Pentagon. In addition, these spending increases have occurred during a period of unprecedented financial pressure in the United States, which has resulted in a severe contraction of consumer spending triggered by the financial crisis and the corresponding need for the government to reduce its spending levels.
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At the strategic level, the apparent thaw in relations between Iran and the international community took an important step forward in Q413 with the international body of nations, which includes the European Union, US, China and Russia, concluding a deal with Iran that will allow for inspections of its nuclear facilities in exchange for a suspension of the enrichment of uranium in the country. The deal will also allow for a monitoring of several of Iran's nuclear facilities. In exchange, Iran will see a number of sanctions lifted. Several Gulf Arab states as well as Israel expressed their opposition to the deal amid fears that the agreement does not go far enough in slowing the programme, stating that the only acceptable deal can be a verifiable complete end to Iran's nuclear programme.
Furthermore, rather than pursue military options in the face of widespread opposition in the US Congress and within the US population writ large, the Obama administration took the decision to support a Russian proposal that the Syrian regime hand over its chemical weapons to international supervision under the authority of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for their destruction. As part of this Russia-brokered proposal, Syrian chemical weapon production and stockpiling facilities, as well as delivery systems, are being catalogued and collected by the OPCW for their eventual destruction in Russia. This process is expected to be completed by mid-2014.
During Q413, the United States made a number of important defence materiel acquisitions. These included the acquisition of:
- Six fast response cutters for the US Coast Guard for delivery by 2016.
- The acquisition of 20 Freedom class fast response boats for the US Coast Guard.
- New mid-tier networking vehicular radios for the US Army, of which 232 will be delivered.
- The purchase of MH-47G Chinook heavy-lift helicopters from Boeing for the US Army.
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